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Kootenai National Forest fire update
September 13, 2017
This is the September 13 fire update on the fires that are burning on the Kootenai National Forest. The Gibralter, Weasel, Caribou, West Fork Moose Peak, and Highway 200 Complex fires are detailed below.

The Gibralter Ridge Fire is 10,443 acres and still at 27 percent containment. The fire continues to burn in the Williams Creek area. The fire also moved within two miles of the Whale Creek drainage on the Flathead National Forest. The Flathead National Forest fire crews wrapped the Ninko Cabin for structure protection. Hand crews will be brushing along the Grave Creek Road and will remain in the area to mop-up and patrol for hot spots.

The Weasel Fire is still estimated at 869 acres and zero percent containment. The fire is actively burning in thick Subalpine Fir near Tuchuck Mountain and has spread toward Weasel Lake. Weasel Cabin and dock were wrapped for fire protection and no private property or structures are threatened.

The Caribou Fire is at 23,187 acres and still at 30 percent containment. Firefighters and equipment operators will focus on finishing fire line on the north side of Marias Mountain, and from Young Creek west towards Lime Creek. On the west side of the fire, firefighters and heavy equipment operators will continue to build indirect line in the Blacktail Creek area north to the Canadian border. Air support, including helicopters and Canadian water scoopers, have dropped approximately 141,000 gallons of water on active fire areas. Fire managers continue to coordinate with Canadian fire officials.

The West Fork Fire is estimated at 14,827 acres and still at zero percent containment. A 20 acre spot fire several miles northeast of the West Fork Fire is being monitored by air. Burnout operations and helicopter drops have helped hold the fire along Quartz Creek Road. Additional engines and personnel were added for structure protection in the Pipe Creek area. More personnel have been ordered to assist in line construction and burnout operations.

Please visit the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for the latest on pre-evacuations.

The Moose Peak Fire is estimated at 8,830 acres and still at zero percent containment. Several spot fires are burning actively and helicopters were able to perform bucket drops in the area to control the lines. The Miller Creek Fire, which is located 2 to 3 miles south of the Moose Peak Fire, is burning north towards the Moose Peak Fire. Structure protection and burnout operations will continue in the fire area.

The Highway 200 Complex fires, which includes the Sheep Gap, Deep Creek, Cub Creek, Readers, and Miller Creek fires, total 24,225 acres. These fires are at varying stages of containment. The Reader Fires are now 95 percent contained while the Sheep Gap Fire is at 40 percent containment. Crews will continue to mop-up and patrol the Reader Fires and those resources are being deployed to the Cub Creek Fire.

There is still no report of containment for the Deep Creek, Cub Creek, and Miller Creek fires. Structure protection assessment and strengthening existing containment lines will continue to be the priority.

All of the fires within the Highway 200 Complex experience increased fire behavior. In several areas, spot fires ignited in thick timber and fuels, producing large plumes of smoke. A confine and contain strategy is being implemented due to steep, inaccessible terrain and heavy fuel loading. Firefighters and heavy equipment will be used to construct and improve existing containment lines. Structure protection remains a priority in the fire areas. Pre-evacuation and evacuation warnings for affected residents are being coordinated by the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office.

The weather forecast calls for cooler temperatures in the coming days. Winds gusts up to 25 mph on the ridgetops and 15 mph in the valley bottom are expected. Smoke will be visible as areas within the fires continue to burn. For more smoke information please visit

Stage II Fire Restrictions remain in effect for Lincoln County and Kootenai National Forest due to extreme fire danger and the Kootenai Forest is looking at larger area closures around the fire areas. Firefighter and public safety remain the top priority.

Current fire conditions can be found at Go to the Kootenai webpage at for the latest on Closure Orders, Kootenai Forest fire maps, and other fire information. The information on the Gibralter Ridge, Weasel, Caribou, West Fork Moose Peak, and Highway 200 Complex can also be found at
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